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 “Long gone are the years where Kyosho
would make up over half of the cars in the final…”


Kyosho, a name synonymous with 1/8 Offroad Racing, not dissimilar in relation to the history, pedigree and relationship between Ferrari and Formula 1. Both companies make up the fabric of the ‘sport’ they race in – just as it’s nigh inconceivable to imagine Formula 1 without Ferrari, Kyosho occupies a similar pedestal position within RC Racing’s hardest class to compete in.

Their 8 World Championship titles tell a story themselves; winning over half of the 15 Official IFMAR World Championships ever staged thus far, a decade-long winning streak from 1992 to 2002 yielded six consecutive titles, even witnessing their own designer Yuichi Kanai pick up a long overdue popular title in 2000.

 

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However in recent years the competition has caught up, inevitably the streak (that had to end at some point) came to an end in 2004 as Mugen claimed their 2nd title, Kyosho would reclaim their crown the following Worlds in 2006 as well as 2010, but the pattern of alternating victories ended with Ty Tessmann giving HB / Hotbodies their 2nd title in 2014.

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Despite many heralding the MP9 as ‘the standard bearer’ in 1/8 Offroad, competition is harder than ever as teams jostle for the best drivers to represent them.

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Long gone are the years where Kyosho would make up over half of the cars in the final, the case 10-15 years ago – there were simply less brands around, therefore less to choose from but the Kyoshos enjoyed a reputation of being bulletproof, and… they typically signed the best, because… put the best driver with the best car and your chances of victory naturally increase…

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Looking ahead to October for the World Championships in Las Vegas, Kyosho are somewhat thinly represented within the much-debated Top 25 Rankings – whilst not a bonafide barometer of competitive accuracy, it is one of the few statistical tools available for rating.

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The three drivers within that list are Jared Tebo (5th), Cody King (10th) & Elliott Boots (11th), not making the cut oddly enough (but with time…) is rising star Riccardo Berton, he has excelled on the Las Vegas track at previous events beating peers and team mates. Also attending  are the likes of Wataru Takashiro, Jerome Aigoin, Kyle Johnson, Naoto Matsukura, Zac Ryan – so the team as an overall is actually pretty solid.

Oh and not forgetting a certain Atsushi Hara racing as a Kyosho, but as a privateer…

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Who’s going to win it for Kyosho ?

Likeliest to come from the likes of Tebo, Boots or Berton (simply because statistically Cody… winning twice is unlikely! Sorry pal but we love you buddy!). Boots is the in form driver, a point to prove after missing out on finals last time as well as 2012 where he TQ’d. Tebo appears to be working harder than ever, his career seemingly seeing no sunsets in sight, Berton as mentioned has excelled in Vegas, he had a poor Euros missing the main but 1t only 17 could he pull off a Spencer Rivkin!

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It’s no secret Kanai has been to Vegas to test like a madman at every opportunity in the past 12 months, any followers of his Facebook account will have grown accustomed to seeing alternating photos of his green MP9, his cat or Kanai in Vegas testing.

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The new TKI4 already has two major race wins this year – Tebo at Neo16 and Boots taking the Euros which will boost the team’s confidence, weak areas identified, improved make the car a formidable force at this year’s World Championships – the pressure is on now however given the preparations and 4-year wait for a title.

 

Can Kyosho do it ? Cast your vote!